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Friday, July 31, 2015

Cameron County Pond Workshop to Focus on Harmful Algal Blooms

Penn State Extension Water Specialist, Bryan Swistock prepares an algae sample for microscope viewing at a pond workshop.

Penn State Extension Water Resource Team Members, Bryan Swistock and Jim Clark, will speak at a free Pond Management Workshop on Thursday evening August 6, at the Bucktail Rod and Gun Club, in Emporium, PA, Cameron County. This meeting is in partnership with the Cameron County Conservation District. Local pond owners and the public are encouraged to attend the 6 to 8 PM meeting and bring algae samples for identification. 

Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) are being discussed this year at extension pond meetings across the state. These blooms may produce poisons or toxins that can cause illness, irritation or even death to pets, livestock, or humans. The hot days of summer also increase the temperature of the water of ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and reservoirs, where these HABs can occur. Confirmation of HABs can only be made under a microscope. Several extension water educators have placed microscopes in their offices and thanks to PA Headwaters and the Sinnemahoning Stakeholders Committee; a microscope will also be placed in the Cameron Conservation District Office. 

The goal is to try and determine how prevalent HABs are in rural ponds across Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection HABs Specialist, Nate Irwin, will also be speaking and discussing the status of HABs in Pennsylvania, at the August 6th session. To pre-register for the free pond workshop at the Bucktail Rod and Gun Club on Thursday, August 6th, at 6 PM, please call Jim Clark at 814-887-5613 or email him at jac20@psu.edu.

Penn State Extension Educator, Jim Clark, will also be receiving algae samples at the Cameron Conservation District Office on Tuesday, August 11, from 9 AM to noon and August 25, from 6 to 8 PM for identification.

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